Balance Between Two-Way Dialogue and Offering Legal Advice

Blogging is a form of networking. Dialogue and discussion are great ways to engage with people who might, eventually, have a specific situation during which they will seek your services.

We recommend you review your state's bar rules for advertising and online ethics and (of course) use your best judgement and common sense when networking online. If/when a conversation becomes focused on one person's situation instead of discussion a topic generally, it's probably time to take the conversation offline.

Here are some consistent guidelines we've noticed in multiple states' bar rules:

  • Don’t misrepresent or mislead online
  • Don’t create an attorney-client relationship online
  • Do not offer specific legal counsel to an individual
  • Keep it broad and general
  • Be tasteful and truthful online from recommendations to endorsements
  • Do not ghost-write as that can take away public accreditation 

As soon as you feel the conversation is heading in the direction of any of the above, take it offline.

Note: For more insight, Kevin O’Keefe covered this subject on his blog ("Legal ethics : Are blogs governed by advertising rules?").

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